I need kvm info

By erwin1978
Dec 16, 2002
  1. What's a good KVM switch? I see these so called mechanical switches for around $50. How safe are these mechanical switches? When you turn the switch back and forth, isn't that the same thing as unplugging the monitor and plugging it back in? I thought you aren't supposed to do that when the PC is powered.

    I might as well make my own KVM switch if all there is is a switch and some wires.
  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    It all depends on how much you want to spend erwin. We just bought several KVM switches at my job for $1500 a piece - supports 8 input devices crossing PC, Mac, and Sun platforms. It remaps keys automatically and even allows you to switch machines from the keyboard alone. There are higher models than the ones we just purchased as well. Then there are the really cheap ones like you described. They only support 2-4 devices and don't allow switching from the keyboard. Sometimes the video gets blurry at high resolutions as well. I'm sure it's not the best thing in the world to plug/unplug your devices while the machine is powered up, but I do it all the time and have never had a problem as a direct result of it.

  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    A buddy of mine bought a 2 port KVM for about 70 USD I think, and it is pretty nice. The quality of pic and everything looks good, but you have to manually turn the switch at the box. But like Papa said it is all in what you want to do.

    If you feel you can make your own KVM, I suggest doing it, because what is the worst that can happen to you? You waste a few dollars putting pieces together? And if it fails you will have learned quite a bit from it.
  4. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    Yeah, what Poert said - and I'd be interested to see how your KVM turns out (pics please). It would be an interesting project that I've never seen anyone personally undertake.

  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I'd be interested as well, especially since I've never had an occasion to take one apart and can't find schematics for them anywhere. But I know there is more to it than a mechanical switch.
  6. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 290

    Sorry to disappoint you all, but someone suggested using "remote desktop." I'll be trying that out first if it suits my needs. Ha ha ha...
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,210   +424

    LOL! Remote desktop is great! Use it, but if you decide to build please take pics throughout the project.

  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Yes, I can't imagine this being a simple project, but it would be kind of neat to do. Maybe I will try next semester, since I only have 6 hours and should have a lot of free time.

    Although I have no need for it, maybe I can make it and sell it to a friend.
  9. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if you do decide to get a KVM switch I would suggest a good quality one a friend of mine bought a cheapo one and not long after installing it his monitor went belly up he thought it was just the monitor so he replaced it when it went belly up too he finally caught on that the KVM switch was the culprit.
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